The Man from Earth: Holocene Image

I loved The Man From Earth. The 2007 sci-fi drama is a brilliant film about John, an alleged immortal man confessing his life story to his collegial friends who happen to be experts in a variety of fields conveniently there to somewhat antagonistically poke holes in his story. The film was expertly vague about John’s honesty with the exception of one instance that still could have been fabricated and faked. It was fun to want to believe John’s story but also try and disprove it. Now, ten years later we get The Man From Earth: Holocene, a sequel that is quite enjoyable, but admittedly not as strong as the first classic film. It’s incredibly hard to review a follow-up and not have your feelings tied to the first one, especially if you consider the original film to be borderline masterful. There’s a fine balance between wanting more of the same and needing the story’s direction and characters to change and evolve. For the most part, The Man From Earth: Holocene handles that delicate balance with grace and the issues I have are minor and mostly just reference back to my enjoyment of the first film.

“It forces you to ponder on theology and man’s place in the universe much like its beloved predecessor…”

David Lee Smith returns as John Oldman, now an instructor in Northern California. John is in a seemingly committed relationship with Carolyn, played by Vanessa Williams. For the first time in his impossibly long life, he’s showing signs of aging and his healing factor is significantly slower. Meanwhile, three pesky and inquisitive students figure out John’s secret and investigate the validity of it all. Isabelle, Philip, and Tara (played by Akemi Look, Sterling Knight, and Brittany Curran respectively) are fine in their roles. Brittany Curran is especially great in her role as Tara, however, she has a really weak subplot that has her trying to seduce John that seems kind of pointless and a bit creepy. Isabelle is a Buddhist hippie that kind of leads the group in their sleuthing about, and Philip is the group’s staunch Christian that believes John’s immortality and life experiences are tremendously blasphemous. Giving away anything else would be detrimental to the viewing experience, this film has its fair share of unbelievably clever twists and turns. It forces you to ponder on theology and man’s place in the universe much like its beloved predecessor, while also expanding upon John’s nomadic lifestyle and personal beliefs.

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  1. Zebra says:

    The first movie was brilliant and should have been the end.. that being said, in reference to the ending of Holocene I think the F.B.I. guy was Phillip.. only he’s not a Fed, instead after running from a murder he committed he later learns that the police weren’t looking for Phillip the murderer, but instead for Phillip the missing college kid! This so unhinged him that he goes crazier and wants to find John so he can finish the job.. properly

  2. Michael says:

    I think it was good sequel , was a little upset at the ending at first when it went to credits but then it showed another clip and left it opened for another which made me not just feel better but left me anticipating the next film.


    it shows a hidden person ( sun behind him hiding his face ) asking questions about John and saying bad things about him. I personally think that the gay asking questions is the other guy he ran into during his journey his mentioned in the first film. I believe that guy is the Antichrist and looking for John to destroy him. It also could be the kid that escaped and had him hostage or it could be christ at the door looking for John and John has been lying to us all and he is the antichrist. I don’t want to believe the last theory just because I love johns character and would completely ruin the series for me. Can’t wait for the next one to get some closer. Unfortunately I don’t think we will ever get closer because the writers are wanting to make a television series with it so not sure a closer will be soon.

  3. John Mark Higginbotham says:

    If they make another one…I’ll watch it; and yes I’ll gladly pay for it. Call me shallow. I both loved the second one, and didn’t quite care for the ending . But, I’m up for the third. Good luck to the creators; past, present, and future…JMH

  4. ZeroHex says:

    Holocene is garbage, the first movie was so clever, philosophical, spiritual even, the plot was character driven with amazing dialogues and monologues, so simple yet so perfect and with a real twist ending that made it in my humble opinion a master piece. But this sequel? What where they thinking? A bunch of college stereotypes stumble upon “the truth” and try to out John to what end?

    The Slutty one tries to seduce him and upon failing she resorts to blackmailing him, revealing that they know the truth about him (or have a pretty good idea).

    The Believer wants him to enlighten humanity and rule over the world bringing a golden age.

    The Religious Zealot wants nothing to do with him until he realizes what The Believer´s plans are and decides that he wants the same but only if John is “his” Jesus, if he is not he wants to stop him at all costs.

    And finally The Mascot, who wants nothing at all and is only riding along for kicks.

    Then we have the bitter has-been who wants retribution for loosing his career trying to expose John.

    And finally we have the “Open Ending” that not only implies/confirms that John is not “the only one” but that the man he encountered decades ago in Europe is hunting him and is his nemesis (If John was Jesus he was Cain/Jack the Ripper/Etc) this being the cheapest, cheeziest, cliche trope unimaginative big reveal ending possible… and they want to produce a 3rd movie? Possibly a series?

    This is the perfect example of something that should have been a one-off and they should have stopped while they were ahead. What´s 3rd going to be? Jack the Ripper vs Sherlock Holmes across time? And after that? Is the series going to be a John Doe/The Fugitive rip-off? Please stop this nonsense.

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